Author, speaker, photographer and avid hiker Jeff Ryan was born and raised in Maine. His love of the outdoors was evident early in life. He was skiing at the age of three and spending at least some summer nights in a canvas pup tent at the edge of the woods by the age of twelve. In his early teens, he spent two weeks every summer exploring the inlets and islands of the Maine coast with his parents in their 24 foot powerboat.
As an adult, Jeff adopted hiking as his favored mode of exploration. In 1983, he went on his first long distance hike, a 6 1/2 month adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail.
Upon his return to Maine from the PCT, Jeff kept right on hiking. He and a hiking partner climbed Maine’s highest 50 mountains in one year. He then began “section hiking” the Appalachian Trail in 1985 (a journey that would take 28 years to complete and culminated in his first book, Appalachian Odyssey: A 28-year hike on America’s trail, published by Down East Books in 2016).
During his research for Appalachian Odyssey, he became interested in the history of the AT, in particular the two larger than life personalities most responsible for the Trail’s existence. This led to his second book, Blazing Ahead: Benton MacKaye, Myron Avery and the Rivalry that Built the Appalachian Trail, published in 2017 by Appalachian Mountain Club Books).
Jeff is a frequent speaker and enjoys inspiring others to get outdoors to enjoy all that nature has to offer to our emotional and physical health.
Some of Jeff’s Notable Adventures
2015 – ?
|Pacific Crest Trail
Maine’s highest 50 mountains in one year
Long Trail (VT)
Trans-Maine (bike/hike/canoe from Kittery to Madawaska Maine)
Taconic Crest Trail (MA and VT)
Wapack Trail (MA/NH)
Sunapee-Monadnock Trail (NH)
New Zealand (five week biking and hiking trip)
North-South Trail (RI)
Midstate Trail (MA)
New England Trail (CT – and eventually, MA and NH)
* Did two trips on same trail system in years noted by asterisk